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Breakfast celebration to mark 50 years since war-damaged primary school was rebuilt

PUBLISHED: 17:00 05 April 2019

Pupils and teachers at St Margaret's Primary School celebrating 50 years since the school reopened. Picture: Ken Mears

Pupils and teachers at St Margaret's Primary School celebrating 50 years since the school reopened. Picture: Ken Mears

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A Barking school damaged during the Second World War held a special breakfast to celebrate 50 years since the site was rebuilt.

Headteacher David Huntingford speaks to guests. Picture: Ken MearsHeadteacher David Huntingford speaks to guests. Picture: Ken Mears

Pupils, parents and people living in the area were invited to the special St Margaret’s C of E Primary School event today (Friday) for food and entertainment.

It was too early in the day for any birthday cake but those who attended were provided with a choice of ham, jam or cheese sandwiches, fresh fruit and even cucumber water.

Headteacher David Huntingford, 36, said: “I could not be prouder of how far the school has come.

“I know that St Margaret’s has survived the past and St Margaret’s is ready for the future.”

Pupils and staff danced on the stage. Picture: Ken MearsPupils and staff danced on the stage. Picture: Ken Mears

There has been a school at the North Street site, next to Barking Abbey, since 1649 but in the Second World War the building was heavily damaged.

In 1966 the community decided to come together to raise the £95,000 needed to rebuild it.

Just three years later the building was opened to accommodate 310 children, and after further redevelopment St Margaret’s now has more than 400 pupils studying at the school.

Mr Huntingford said: “The staff work incredibly hard, long hours and go above and beyond what is expected. As a result, the children respond to that.”

Families gathered in the playground for the celebration. Picture: Ken MearsFamilies gathered in the playground for the celebration. Picture: Ken Mears

Staff and pupils got up on the stage to sing, dance and entertain guests, going through renditions of Candy and the Macarena and encouraging other children in the playground to join in.

Barking and Dagenham Council’s cabinet member for education Cllr Evelyn Carpenter was at the celebration.

She said: “I think one of the things about this school is its ethos, its kindness and its care, its commitment to the community.

“We want all our schools in Barking and Dagenham for children to grow up caring about their community caring about their neighbours and looking after each other.

Youngsters sang as part of the celebration. Picture: Ken MearsYoungsters sang as part of the celebration. Picture: Ken Mears

“I know that happens in this school and that’s what I want all our schools to learn from St Margaret’s.”

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